Steve Bannon is not having a good summer – here’s why it is going to get worse
Celebrity reality show host Donald Trump’s new chief of staff, John Kelly, is presiding over an Oval Office that includes Trump’s rotund Rasputin – nativist, bellicose former Breitbart publisher Steve Bannon.
Bannon has been taking it on the chin in recent weeks as some of his closest allies were being forced out of the Trump Misadministration:
- Rick Higgins, a senior National Security Council aide, got sh!tcanned for writing a memo containing anti-Semitic dog whistles:
[Higgins’s] dismissal marks the latest victory by National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster in the ongoing war within Trump’s White House between those who believe that the president is under threat from dark forces plotting to undermine him, and those like McMaster who dismiss this as conspiratorial thinking.
Rich Higgins, a former Pentagon official who served in the NSC’s strategic-planning office as a director for strategic planning, was let go on July 21. Higgins’s memo describes supposed domestic and international threats to Trump’s presidency, including globalists, bankers, the “deep state,” and Islamists. The memo characterizes the Russia story as a plot to sabotage Trump’s nationalist agenda. It asserts that globalists and Islamists are seeking to destroy America. The memo also includes a set of recommendations, arguing that the problem constitutes a national-security priority.
“Globalists and Islamists recognize that for their visions to succeed, America, both as an ideal and as a national and political identity, must be destroyed,” the memo warns. It argues that this has led “Islamists [to] ally with cultural Marxists,” but that in the long run, “Islamists will co-opt the movement in its entirety.”
All of those bolded terms have something in common: they are favorite anti-Semitic tropes among America’s racist, nativist White supremacist subculture.
- Conservative Review is having a pity party over McMaster’s decision to fire the unctuous Ezra Cohen-Watnick from the National Security Council
Ezra Cohen-Watnick, the senior director for intelligence on the National Security Council, has been dismissed from the White House, two senior administration officials who are not authorized to discuss personnel matters told Conservative Review on Wednesday.
Cohen-Watnick, 31, was originally brought on board by former NSC chief Gen. Michael Flynn.
National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster has, in the past, attempted to rid the council of Cohen-Watnick, but was overruled by President Trump, Steve Bannon, and Jared Kushner.
He has been described as an “Iran hawk” who wanted to revamp counter-Iran efforts in the Middle East, and sought to reform the intelligence community to rein in the “deep state” of unaccountable bureaucrats with rogue agendas.
Back in March, the NY Times reported
A pair of White House officials helped provide Representative Devin Nunes of California, a Republican and the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, with the intelligence reports that showed that President Trump and his associates were incidentally swept up in foreign surveillance by American spy agencies. … Several current American officials identified the White House officials as Ezra Cohen-Watnick, the senior director for intelligence at the National Security Council, and Michael Ellis, a lawyer who works on national security issues at the White House Counsel’s Office and was previously counsel to Mr. Nunes’s committee. Though neither has been accused of breaking any laws, they do appear to have sought to use intelligence to advance the political goals of the Trump administration.
- Another of Bannon’s allies, Derek Harvey, was forced out a week ago “as the White House grapples with internal divisions as well as major policy issues involving Syria, Iran and Iraq.” It was a McMaster ouster: “‘[He] wants his own guy,’ said a senior White House aide. The White House did not immediately announce a replacement for the job of National Security Council senior director for the Middle East.”
The racist, nativist, Putin-loving American fascist movement that has lauded Bannon as their main man hates McMaster with the white-hot heat of a million white-hot suns:
Far-right American nationalists have launched a campaign to smear President Donald Trump’s national security adviser H.R. McMaster after he fired a number of their allies from the National Security Council.
Mike Cernovich, a figurehead of the so-called Alt-right nationalist movement—a loose-knit group of racist white nationalists, conspiracy theorists, and misogynists—launched the website McMasterLeaks.com Wednesday to solicit dirt on Lt Gen H.R. McMaster from inside and outside the White House. …
The hashtag and attacks against McMaster’s character quickly began gaining momentum among Alt-right figures. Jack Posobiec, known for his promotion of the Pizzagate conspiracy theory, a claim that Democrats were running a pedophile ring out of a Washington pizza parlor, attempted to draw a connection between McMaster and the release of the Access Hollywood tape last October in which Trump said he could “do anything” to women, even “grab them by the pussy.”
The reliably conservative Weekly Standard has an eye-opening analysis of what has become an outright war between Bannon and McMaster:
General John Kelly may be trying to institute military-style discipline in the West Wing, but that hasn’t put a stop to the civil war happening over President Donald Trump’s National Security Council. If anything, the dawning of the Kelly era may have accelerated that war.
The national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, has removed three NSC aides loyal to Trump aide Steve Bannon in the last three weeks. Bannon allies inside and outside the administration have fired back, starting rumors that McMaster is on his way out the door and documenting the Army general’s deviations from President Trump.
And there’s this nugget from teh end of the piece:
For some time, Steve Bannon has been considering leaving the White House. One of Bannon’s closest buddies in the West Wing was Reince Priebus, now gone. A newly emboldened H.R. McMaster, purging Bannonites with the backing of John Kelly (and the president), could hasten his exit.
The president seems partial to McMaster. “Sometimes he drives me nuts,” Trump said this week, according to a White House official. “But there’s something about the guy I really like.”
While I still believe Kelly won’t last long, it is clear that he is backing McMaster in the short-term,And that is obviously not good news for Bannon, who is likely to see his last allies demoted, “laterally transferred”, or purged. Bannon’s deplorable fanboys, like Bannon himself, are not going to have a pleasant time of it. Sad!